I wish there was a definitive guide to tell me the right way to raise a child. Wouldn’t that make parenting a little less stressful, to have all the answers handed to you? Perhaps. However, what if that definitive guide gave rules that I did not agree with, would I be bound to follow them?
In today’s scripture, the people are looking for a leader to tell them how to live, but that leader becomes a dictator of definitive rules that the parents did not appreciate, especially concerning their children. The wish to have a strong leader dictate the way to live,did not agree with the desire to make one’s own decisions.
Samuel tries to show them a different leader in God. A God who offers them a relationship to work together, to be an active partner in the decisions of life and not just a passive recipient of handed down rules on how to live.
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, "You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations." (verses 4-5) — TLR